Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Trying to snack less? Change how you store food

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, less mindless snacking is a good thing.  For someone who is type 1, mindless snacking means you might not know how much insulin to give yourself, in addition to the potential of eating too much and gaining weight.  For someone who is type 2, you're probably needing to watch your caloric intake and hopefully lose weight.

New studies show that snacking can be influenced by how you store food.

How We Store Food At Home Could Be Linked To How Much We Eat

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Knowing when to go to the doctor

This interesting article was on NPR the other day:

For Headaches, A Lifestyle Change May Be Better Than A Doctor Visit

They have a point when they say that patients are better informed than ever, and often go into the doctor with an idea of what is wrong with them and what they want to do about it.  That's what this article is about, how often -- with headaches -- what people really need is to exercise more, eat better, sleep better, or something of the like, rather than going through lots of potentially harmful tests and taking potentially harmful medication.

Of course, as someone on Facebook commented, if they hadn't gone to the doctor for their headaches, they'd be dead of cancer.  Sometimes going to the doctor IS the right decision.

So how do you know which one?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The fight against overtreatment

I've read a lot of stuff about the overtreatment that runs rampant in the American medical industry: tests being ordered that aren't needed, drugs being prescribed when they shouldn't, etc.  Sometimes it's because doctors are told that's what they're supposed to do, but there was an article on NPR the other day about how sometimes it's in spite of the recommended procedures.

Why Many Doctors Don't Follow 'Best Practices'

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Is your health insurer following the rules?

There was an article the other day about how health insurers are finding loopholes and getting away with not providing required services, such as birth control with no co-pay.

Health Insurance Companies are Illegally Charging for Birth Control

My insurer is guilty of that, as the brand name birth control pill I take is free, but the generic is not.  So of course the doctor tends to want to write prescriptions for generics, because people usually want those, and if she doesn't the pharmacy substitutes, and then I have to have them all change it back because otherwise I get charged for something I'm supposed to be getting for free.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rethinking that daily aspirin

It used to be recommended that people take an aspirin every day in order to lower their risk of heart attack.  In recent years, though, this recommendation has come under fire.  I can remember when they pointed out that the studies that found a daily aspirin was helpful had actually not been done on women, and it had been found that the daily aspirin actually wasn't helpful for women.

Now they're going further, and saying that if you are healthy, the benefits of the daily aspirin are actually outweighed by the risks.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Good news if you hate blood draws

When my sister was a kid she had to have surgery to remove a bone fragment from her elbow.  When they went to put the IV in, they couldn't find her vein at first -- apparently she was so nervous that it constricted.

I've never had that problem, as I have veins that stand out pretty prominently, especially once you put a tourniquet on.  I have one good vein especially that is the number one choice for blood draws.  But my veins do roll sometimes, so I have been poked over and over before in an attempt to get blood or place an IV.  It's not fun.

There is hope though, in the form of this new invention!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What about that annual physical?

On the subject of obsessing about your health, which I posted about last week: What about annual physicals?  Aren't they supposed to be good for you?

NPR ran this article last week as well, which, if I hadn't been so busy and distracted, I meant to blog about sooner.

Maybe You Should Skip That Annual Physical